|Republique du Congo|
|Form of government||Presidential Republic|
|Currency||Central African Franc|
|Telephone area code||00242 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)|
The Republic of the Congo (R¨¦publique du Congo) is located in western Equatorial Africa and, with an area of 342,000 km², is about the size of Germany. The country borders the Central African Republic in the north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the east and southeast,Angola in the southwest,Gabon and the Atlantic Ocean in the west and Cameroon in the northwest.The country takes its name from the Congo River (African: Zaire), which forms the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo over a length of around 600 km, the second longest river in Africa after the Nile.
The coastal strip on the Atlantic is between 10 and 55 km wide, to the east the country rises to the New Guinea threshold, which is on average 500 to 800 m high. The highest elevation in the country (1,040 m) is located here in the Mayo Mountains. The country falls towards the northeast to the Congo Basin, the western part of which lies on the territory of the Republic of the Congo at an average height of 350 m above sea level.
The capital Brazzaville is located in the southwest of the country on the banks of the Congo.
The climate in the Republic of the Congo is tropical with consistently high temperatures all year round. Brazzaville has averages of 25 °C in January and July. In the south of the country, the temperature fluctuations are slightly higher (between 22 °C and 27 °C). There are two rainy seasons (January to May, October to December) in the north of the country and in the area around the equator, with an average of 1,600 to 1,900 mm of precipitation. In the south the rainy seasons are shorter, the amount of precipitation is 1 300 to 1 500 mm.
Flora and fauna
More than 60% of the country’s area is occupied by tropical rainforest with the typical tiered structure. In several tree floors (individual trees reach up to 60 m, the closed canopy is at a height of 30 to 45 m) there are a variety of different types of plants such as lianas, strangling plants, so-called epiphytes and hardwood plants such as teak, limba and mahogany. To the west, wet savannas with grasses and a small number of trees form the transition to the coastal landscape, where large mangrove populations can be found.
The large stocks of tropical rainforest form an ideal habitat for many animal species. Various monkey species, okapis, forest elephants (also known as round-eared elephants) and countless species of insects and birds live here. In the wet savannas you will find, among other things, antelopes, steppe elephants, leopards, cheetahs and jackals.
The vast majority of the 3.39 million people in the Republic of the Congo belong to Bantu groups. The largest group among them are Congo (Ba-Kongo or Vili-Kongo, around 48% of the total population), further groups are T¨¦k¨¦ (Bat¨¦k¨¦) with 17.1%, Mboshi (11.5%) and Mbete (4.8%). A large part of the tribes not counted among the Bantu peoples belong to the Ubangi, a minority are the Pygmies, of which around 150,000 still live in the dense forests of the two Congo countries. The official language is French, along with Lingala, Monokutuba, Kikongo, T¨¦k¨¦ and several Ubangi languages. Half of the population belongs to the Christian denomination, the other half largely indigenous beliefs. 2% are Muslims.
The country is extremely sparsely populated. Almost a third of the entire population lives in the metropolitan area of the capital Brazzaville (790,000 residents). Due to the high HIV / AIDS rate (5% of the population), population growth is only a small 2.2%, although an average of 3.5 children are born per woman. According to COUNTRYAAH, life expectancy is only 52 years. School attendance is compulsory for children aged six to 15 years, and the literacy rate is estimated at 84%. The standard of living is relatively high compared to other African countries, especially in the cities, health and social services are well developed. The high unemployment rate is a particular problem here.
Congo has been a presidential republic since 1992; the current constitution dates from 2002. The president and head of government is Denis Sassou Nguesso (1997 seizure of power after the civil war; first confirmed in office in 2002 in presidential elections). He appoints the cabinet members. The state president is elected by the people for a seven-year term, re-election is possible.
The Parliament consists of two chambers: the National Assembly with 139 and the Senate with 72 members; the deputies are elected for five years and the senators for six years.
The legal system is based on French and common law.
The Republic of the Congo is divided into ten regions and the capital district of Brazzaville.
Even after the official end of the civil war, the economy of the Republic of the Congo continues to suffer from the high unemployment rate, the low level of training of workers, largely destroyed infrastructure and the low degree of self-sufficiency in food production. 90% of export earnings come from oil production, which, however, is largely in French and Italian hands. Until a few years ago, the most important branch of the economy – forestry – is becoming less and less important.
Agriculture only generates 3% of the gross domestic product. In the field of hiking fields, bananas and tubers are mainly grown for the local population’s own needs, and cocoa, sugar and coffee are planted on plantations for export. The export of tropical woods (especially limba and mahogany) is still significant, even if the numbers are declining.
The industry is moderately developed and focuses on the processing of petroleum. There are also wood and food processing companies. Other mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, bauxite and phosphates are only mined in small quantities.
The most important buyers of the country’s export products (oil, forestry products, cocoa, coffee, diamonds) are China, the USA and Taiwan; France, China and Italy are among the most important importers of machinery and foodstuffs to the Congo.
There are international airports in the capital Brazzaville and in Pointe-Noire on the Atlantic coast; the most important port is Pointe-Noire. Of the approximately 13,000 km of roads in the country, only 1,200 km are paved.
The currency is the Central African Franc.